Saputo has confirmed its Cobram factory will remain operational despite a contraction in supply across the Goulburn Valley during the past 12 months.
The chief executive of the Montreal-based processor, Lino Saputo, met with municipal leaders in Cobram in February — the same week he addressed the Australian Dairy Conference in Canberra.
In the conference speech, Mr Saputo said if processors built new, high-technology milk plants, they should shut down older plants in their network.
The Cobram site, however, underwent a multi-million dollar refit by previous owners Murray Goulburn three years ago.
Saputo corporate responsibility head Rita Marigliani said the future of the Cobram site was assured.
“There is absolutely no intention to close the Cobram site,” Ms Marigliani said.
“In fact, we have made several investments since we acquired the site to enhance production and increase efficiencies. Cobram is a key site of our Saputo Dairy Australia platform.”
Murray Goulburn shut its Rochester plant in January last year and the company had intended to mothball its Kiewa factory last year until it was given a reprieve by Saputo following the buyout of MG.
United Dairyfarmers of Victoria vice-president John Keely welcomed the reassurance from Saputo management.
“There was a significant upgrade at Cobram a couple of years ago, so it makes economic sense to keep it operational,” he said.
“It’s good that Saputo have confirmed its long-term future. It provides the reassurance the industry needs at the moment.”
Original article sourced from https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/